Cervical cryotherapy (also called "cryosurgery" or "cryoablation") is a procedure that removes abnormal cells from the cervix. It's most often done in the doctor's office, and only takes a few minutes. During cryotherapy, tissue that includes the abnormal cells is frozen. This tissue is destroyed. The tissue that grows back is usually normal. In most cases, all abnormal cells are removed with only one treatment.
Cervical cryotherapy may be done if a Pap test and colposcopy show abnormal cells on the cervix. Here are some of the problems cervical cryotherapy treats:
Dysplasia occurs when cells in the cervix change in ways that aren't normal. This is often caused by a sexually transmitted virus called HPV (human papillomavirus).
Warts (condyloma) can grow on the cervix. These are also caused by HPV.
Chronic cervicitis is a recurring inflammation of the cervix.
Risks of cervical cryotherapy are fairly low. They may include:
Scarring of the cervix
The need for further treatment
Cervical cryotherapy is most often an office procedure. It will be scheduled for a day when you're not having your menstrual period. You may be asked to sign a consent form before the procedure. You may also be given special instructions, including the following:
Avoid sexual intercourse, tampons, douching, and creams or other vaginal medications for a few days before your procedure.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever an hour before your appointment.
Urinate before the procedure.
You will be asked to lie on an exam table with your knees bent, just as you do for a Pap test.
An instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open.
A local anesthetic may be used to numb your cervix.
A thin probe is held on the cervix. This creates a ball of ice that freezes and kills the tissue. This step may be done a few times.
You will likely have cramps while the ice is touching your cervix. Tell your healthcare provider if the cramps are too uncomfortable.
You may feel lightheaded. This will go away when the procedure is over. You can rest on the exam table until you feel better.
You will have a thin, watery discharge after treatment. You may also have some light bleeding.
Next, you will have a thicker, yellowish discharge as your body sheds the dead tissue. This may last up to 6 weeks.
Use pads, not tampons, immediately after the procedure. Ask your healthcare provider when it's okay to use tampons again.
The cervical tissue can bleed easily as it heals. To protect it, you may be told not to have sex, douche, or exercise for a certain amount of time.
You can probably return to your normal routine right after cervical cryotherapy. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions while your cervix is healing. You'll likely have a follow-up appointment 4 to 6 weeks after treatment to make sure you're healing well. At a later visit, another Pap test or colposcopy may be done to ensure that treatment was successful.
Date Last Reviewed: 2005-10-04T00:00:00-06:00
Date Last Modified: 2005-10-04T00:00:00-06:00
Dr. Marsha Bornt started seeing me when I was in my early twenties (20 years ago). After seeing many doctors, she was the 1st doctor to diagnose me with endometriosis. I went on to have many laparoscopies with her over the years. In my thirties I moved about 45-50 min away from Apple Hill, so I ended up seeing another doctor who performed another laparoscopy...
Staff was very friendly and professional. I had a few questions that the doctor was more than happy to answer for me. I got all that needed to be done in a very timely manner. I was very pleased with my visit. Trying to find a parking spot was very frustrating though. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
I am always glad to meet with Dr. Bornt. She is very pleasant and makes sure she has answered all your questions or concerns. She is very thorough in her approach about your medical history . . .wants only the best for you as her patient.